Revolutionary filter which is already helping to target malaria-infected cells is further developed to tackle blood cancers
Dr George Frodsham
MediSieve, the company behind a revolutionary magnetic sieve that filters out malaria-infected cells directly from a patient’s bloodstream, is developing new methods to fight leukaemia.
Following the successful development of its magnetic filter device, which will soon move into clinical trials; MediSieve experts are now beginning research into the treatment of other life-threatening blood diseases using magnetic particles to target specific disease-causing components in blood.
Company founder and chief executive, Dr George Frodsham, said: “We have always been developing a platform technology to target a wide range of blood-borne diseases.
“We recently announced our plans to target sepsis and now I’m very excited to share our work against leukaemia, too.”
However, the task of removing leukaemia cells from the bloodstream poses complex challenges in comparison to the treatment of malaria.
Malarial cells are naturally magnetic, which means when a patient’s blood is passed through the MediSieve magnet and filtration devices, they can be removed.
The challenge with leukaemia, and with sepsis, is to develop ‘targeted magnetic particles’ which can capture those types of infected cells, which do not have the same magnetic properties as malaria.
To overcome that challenge, MediSieve has recruited an expert on magnetic particles, Dr Cristina Blanco Andujar.
He joins the company as product development manager to lead the leukaemia and sepsis projects, focusing particularly on the development of the magnetic particles required.
He said: “I am incredibly passionate about what we’re trying to do here at MediSieve, and I believe that by collaborating with experts in our field we will be able to reach our goals.”
According to MediSieve, leukaemia currently affects over 200,000 people between Europe and the United States ¬– combining sufferers of chronic lymphocytic leukaemia and acute myeloid leukaemia, the two types of leukaemia that the MediSieve treatment is expected to be the most effective on.
Its product, planned to be ready in 2021 after clinical trials, is intended to be used before a patient receives chemotherapy to improve both the drugs’ effectiveness and to reduce its side effects, some of which can be fatal.